Okay, buckle up and grab a snack…this is gonna be a long one! After being nudged by Udeme to share my hair routine, I thought now would be a great time!
Here’s a little back story on my hair: I have been natural for most of my life, but did have a relaxer from about ages 15-22 or 23. When I was in my second year of law school I got a hair cut that I HATED, so to cover it up and grow my hair out I started getting sew-in weaves which I wore on and off for about a year and a half.
I don’t really remember the exact date or what made me decide to stop relaxing my hair. It was mostly an experiment to grow healthy hair and get acquainted with my natural texture again. I have been natural for about 2 years now (I think?).
To attain healthy hair my main goal was to cut down on the use of heat. To me, no heat means no direct heat (blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, etc.) I will still use a hooded dryer or a steamer to do deep conditioning treatments or roller/flexi rod sets. I attribute using heat sparingly to the growth and retained length that I’ve experienced over the past year or so. I now wear my hair curly about 75-80% of the time.
I will do a second post on my straight-hair routine and products, but for now here is my standard curly hair routine and products used:
Honestly, I’m not great at always remembering to pre-poo. But when I do, I put an absurd amount of coconut oil on my slightly damp hair (I use a spray bottle with just plain water to dampen my hair) and wear it in a bun from anywhere for a full day before washing or just a few hours prior. The purpose of using oil, conditioner, or a combination of both before cleansing your hair is to maintain moisture and reduce the damaging effect that washing can have on highly textured hair.
When wearing my hair curly, I decide whether to co-wash (conditioner wash) or shampoo based on the condition of my hair and whether I feel like I have a lot of build up or not. If using shampoo, it is always sulfate free. For co-washing you can use any conditioner or a specific co-washing product. I always use As I Am Coconut Co-Wash. For shampoo, I’m currently using Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle and/or Elucence Moisture Benefits Shampoo.
I use cheap conditioners to detangle my hair with a wide-tooth comb in the shower after shampooing. I currently alternate between Aussie Moist, Herbal Essence’s Hydralicious, and Tresemme Naturals. I exclusively use cheap conditioners for detangling because I have to use a lot of product.
Every time I wash my hair I follow up with a deep conditioner and sit under a hooded dryer for a minimum of 30 minutes. I’m currently using: Macadamia Deep Repair Masque, Neutrogena ‘s Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner, and S Factor Serious Conditioner. Sometimes I will just mix one of my cheap conditioners with olive oil and raw honey for a homemade and equally effective deep conditioner. Every 4-6 weeks I also do a protein treatment, usually Aphogee 2 minute Reconstructor (make sure to always follow up protein with a moisturizing conditioner to prevent your hair from becoming brittle).
If I am wearing my hair curly, I am usually styling it in a twist and curl, with flexi rods on the ends. I set my hair and let my hair air-dry overnight and take down the twists in the morning.
Since it’s winter in Michigan I use much heavier products to ensure my hair stays moisturized for a few days. I section my hair into about 5 sections and apply products as follows:
2) Twist hair. Each section is usually 2-3 twists.
3) Smooth a pea sized amount of Jamaican Black Castor Oil onto each twist, concentrating on the ends.
4) Roll the ends on flexi-rods
5) The next day, or once hair is completely dry, I rub a light oil (right now it’s Grape Seed oil) onto my hands and unravel my twists (using oil prevents frizz).
6) To preserve my style at night, I usually pineapple my hair. Every 3 or 4 days I may re-twist (in much larger twists, maybe 8 total).
Alright, that was a lot of information. Please note that I am not 100% loyal to the majority of these products because I’m a product junkie and like trying new things. But, the process pretty much stays the same. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments! I love talking all things hair so don’t hesitate to speak up on your hair routine and/or fave products! Stay tuned for Part 2, my straight hair routine, which is much shorter 🙂
If you are transitioning, natural, or on a healthy hair journey here are my most frequented websites and YouTube Channels:
MahoganyCurls (on YouTube)
NaturalNeiicey (on YouTube)
Naptural85 (on YouTube)
TheHappyHairShow (on YouTube, for my relaxed ladies)